Prior to tying
ourselves to any specific theological system, we desire to define ourselves as
Christians. We mean Christian in the strictest sense of the word. We believe in
the historic doctrine of the Trinity. We believe in the inspiration and
inerrancy of the Scripture. We affirm that man is saved by grace alone through
faith alone. We believe in a conscious afterlife; the physical return of
Christ; the resurrection of the righteous and the unrighteous; the reality of heaven,
and the reality of hell.
Under this heading
several things are important to mention. First, we are reformed in that we do not regard the Roman Catholic Church as
a true Christian institution. We consciously uphold and affirm the main
disagreements that divided the Protestants and the Catholic Church.
First, we affirm
what it known as Sola Scriptura. We believe that the Scriptures found in protestant
version of the Bible are the highest court of appeal when it comes morals and
doctrine. It is supreme over all councils, popes, and theologians.
It is even supreme
over beloved confessions of faith produced by the protestant movement.
[There are some
confessions of faith written by our protestant forefathers that we admire and
respect on many points of doctrine. However, even these are subjugated to change
if they are found in conflict with clear biblical exposition.]
The Bible contains
all that is sufficient for life and doctrine. These paragraphs can be summed up
by the Apostle Paul himself when he wrote:
All Scripture is breathed out by
God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training
in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equippedfor
every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
Further, we affirm
Sola Fede. A sinner is justified by the faith in Christ alone. While baptism
and the Lord’s table are a blessing, and one can receive true spiritual
blessing by participating in them, they carry within them no saving benefit.
One is declared righteous the very moment one puts his trust in Christ.
In this we deny
all other sacraments or signs administrated by both Roman and cultic organizations
that they deem necessary for salvation.
[For instance, we deny
the Roman view of baptism and the Lord’s Table. However, we also deny that one
must speak in tongues or go through certain “temple” rituals in order to be
savingly joined to God.]
Faith is the sole
instrument God produces in the sinner for purposes of justification. This is
clearly taught in the Bible:
Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever
hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come
into judgment, but has passed from death to life (John 5:24).
For we hold that one is justified
by faith apart from works of the law (Romans 3:28).
Therefore, since we have been
justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we
stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God (Romans 5:1-2).
We also maintain
the reformation slogan Sola Gratzia. By this we mean that while faith is the
instrument God uses to save sinners, He does so by grace. To use a common
acrostic, grace is:
Christ lived the perfect life under
the holy Law of God. A life no sinner could live. He paid for the sins of His
people by dieing on the Cross. On the cross He endured the full wrath of God’s
judgment for sinners. On the third day, Jesus rose again from the dead. It is
on the basis of this work and not on the works of the Law that one can enter
the Kingdom of God. No one (but Christ) is good enough
or pleasing enough by God’s standards to enter into Heaven. At the moment of
Faith God takes forgives all sin: past present, and future that would hinder
the convert to inter Heaven. In addition to this, God imputes the righteousness
of Christ to the credit of the sinner. God uses this grace to produce faith in
the sinner. This is to say that faith, by which a sinner is saved, is a gift of
God. The only contribution the sinner brings to God is his sins. The Apostle
For by grace you have been saved
through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a
result of works, so that no one may boast (Ephesians 2:8-9).
The final sola
doctrine is an outgrowth of the previous solas. It is Sola Deo Gloria. This
means that God alone receives the glory for the salvation of sinners. God saves
from first to last. It is an act of His redemptive mercy alone. This means that
the sinner can take none of the credit for his salvation. Only God deserves the
glory for the lost receiving salvation.
biblical references are taken from the English
Standard Version (Wheaton,
IL: Good News Publishers, 2001)
unless specified otherwise.